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BlackBerry narrows loss to $423M in Q4, revenue falls to $976M

Ashleigh Patterson
Fin - Dashboard - CA
BlackBerry narrows loss to $423M in Q4, revenue falls to $976M

BlackBerry ended its 2014 fiscal year with a smaller-than-expected loss, but the positive bottom line was darkened by a worsening cash position and a miss on revenue.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone vendor lost US$423 billion, or 80 cents per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter, down from a $98 million profit – or 19 cents per share – in the year-ago period. This compares favourably to consensus estimates of 56 cents per share. Compared to the previous quarter’s $4.4 billion loss, or $8.37 per share shortfall, the company trimmed losses by 78 per cent. Investors in pre-market trading sent shares up by 7 per cent.

Revenues of $976 billion for the three months ended March 1 were down 64 per cent from $2.68 billion during the year-ago quarter, and well below consensus estimates of $1.11 billion. Excluding one-time charges, BlackBerry lost $42 million, or 8 cents per share, as the company continues to transition into a smaller, enterprise-focused version of its former self.

The company’s cash position eroded by $500 million to $2.7 billion from $3.2 billion in the previous quarter, almost reversing a $600 million increase between September and December. The company nevertheless anticipates maintaining its cash position in future quarters as streamlining efforts continue, and projects break-even cash flow by the end of fiscal 2015, in line with comments made by executive chairman and CEO John Chen in November.

“I am very pleased with our progress and execution in fiscal Q4 against the strategy we laid out three months ago. We have significantly streamlined operations, allowing us to reach our expense reduction target one quarter ahead of schedule,” Chen said in a statement. “BlackBerry is on sounder financial footing today with a path to returning to growth and profitability.”

More to come ...

Carmi Levy is a London, Ont.-based independent technology analyst and journalist. The opinions expressed are his own.